Via Google Maps
This settlement on Tatooine -- sorry, this "totally a home on Earth, for real" called the Bubble Palace was conceived in the 1970s by architect Antti Lovag. He was commissioned to design the home near Tourrettes-sur-Loup in France by an eccentric wealthy industrialist, but when the deal fell through, designer Pierre Cardin, the fashion guru who created the bubble dress, took on the house in 1989. That's right: Not one, but two separate people not only immediately loved the idea of living in a bubble bath but also were actually in the position to finance said sprawling bubble compound.
All the rooms in the villa are round, with no straight edges anywhere in the house -- not even the beds. Cardin says it's because, "The circle is my symbol; the sphere represents the creation of the world and the mother's womb. Holes, cones, breasts -- I've always used them in my designs." The architect who built the house says it's because straight lines are "an aggression against nature ... human beings have confined themselves to cubes full of dead ends and angles that impede our movement and break our harmony."
So there you go, totally legit reasoning: They had to build this house so they could live inside a boob and put an end to the race war against Gaia.
This is just one example of the typical dwelling used by the Korowai tribe of New Guinea, who had no idea the outside world even existed until 1970. Instead of building treehouses 10 feet off the ground for their kids, stalling out halfway through and just living with a plank in their trees for the next few decades, the Korowai build their treehouses like real men: To the finish, and up to 165 feet in the air. They do this to avoid predators, floods and ant swarms, and also because it just looks ... so awesome.
Seriously, we would abandon our civilized lives in a heartbeat to live in that thing. We would take zip lines everywhere, we would befriend an Ewok and name him Jarvis, and we would spend the rest of our days fighting lions together.
Dai Haifei is a Chinese architect. He works for a company whose slogan is "Our Buildings Are Eggs Laid by City," and apparently nothing was lost in translation there -- seeing as how Dai now lives in an egg-shaped house small enough to fit on the sidewalk.
He built this pod on a bamboo frame insulated with wood chips, with bags of sprouting grass on the outside. Total Cost: $964. Though quite small, the pod is big enough to house a bed, a water tank, a night table and a crushing sense of claustrophobia. Dai says he typically works at his architectural firm until midnight and only uses his home for sleep anyway, allowing him to save a ton of money that he can hopefully use one day to escape that incredibly sad-sounding existence.
The aristocracy in pre-revolutionary France had way too much time, way too much money and by the looks of things, way too much laudanum. The hot new thing to do as a drug-addled European hedonist back in the day was build yourself a themed garden, like the Desert de Retz, constructed by aristocrat Francois Nicolas Henri Racine de Monville. The centerpiece was the Broken Column mansion, designed to look like it was all that remained of a column from a gargantuan, destroyed, ancient temple.
The building as it stands now, fully restored.
It wasn't just decoration, either: Monville lived in the building himself and hosted esteemed individuals like Thomas Jefferson there. Jefferson visited the Desert while serving as a minister to France and borrowed some design elements of the Broken Column for the rotunda of the University of Virginia.
"Yes! This is just the kind of crazy bullshit America needs to thrive as a foundling nation!" -- Thomas Jefferson
Mike Cooney is a freelancer, an award-winning award winner and Time's 2006 Person of the Year (Google it). He can be contacted at Mikey.Cooney@gmail.com for screenplay writing, sketch comedy, songwriting, editing and any other freelance opportunity.
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